Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Mapping American Newspaper Archives
The US News Map from Georgia Tech allows you to search for keywords in historical American newspapers and then view the results across space and time. The map searches for words in the Library of Congress' database of historical newspapers which includes American newspapers from 1836 to 1922 (a database of more than 10 million newspaper pages).
The application is an amazing resource for visualizing the frequency that words or names appeared in American newspapers over this period. The map helps visualize where newspapers were writing about any given subject and how interest in that subject might have changed over time.
For example you can search for mentions of 'Abraham Lincoln' in nineteenth century newspapers. After you enter 'Abraham Lincoln' into the search box a timeline appears on the map showing the frequency of Lincoln's name appearing in newspapers from 1836 to 1922. Press play on the map and you can watch the map add instances of Lincoln's name appearing in newspapers over the course of the nineteenth century.
You can even click on the markers that appear on the map to read the original newspaper articles. For example, one of the earliest mentions of Lincoln to appear on the map comes from the New York Daily Tribune on June 20th, 1860. Clicking on the article's marker you can read about the "Speech of Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, at the Cooper Institute, New York."